Oberthur Microprocessor Cards Hit a New High

Paris and Los Angeles-based Oberthur Card Systems reported that during the third quarter revenues increased slightly to $155.8 million. During the quarter Oberthur delivered 68 million microprocessor cards, breaking the record of 58.7 million cards set in the second quarter of this year. In the “Payment & Services” segment, Oberthur delivered over 17.7 million microprocessor cards during the period, a 17.8% increase compared to 2Q/06. Sequentially, revenue grew 12.0% to $30.7 million. Sales in the “Other Cards” segment (magnetic stripe cards, scratch cards and memory cards) hit $20.4 million, a 12.7% decrease on a year-on-year basis. This is mainly due to the expected decline of magnetic stripe cards in line with the EMV migration in Italy & Spain. For complete details on Oberthur’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Former Vital CEO Becomes WAY Systems CEO

Boston-based WAY Systems has named Fred O. Gumbel as its new CEO. Gumbel was the founding Chairman, President and CEO of Vital Processing Services when it was formed in 1995 by TSYS and VISA merging their merchant processing operations. However, he abruptly resigned in June 1998 following differences with Vital’s Board. Since 1998, Gumbel has been CEO of Payment Insight, a consulting firm. Prior to Vital, he held senior positions at Citicorp and First Bank System, as well as serving as President of Electronic Data Systems Electronic Commerce Strategic Business Unit. WAY Systems says that its Board now includes founders of Hypercom, VeriFone, and TNS, as well as an executive team comprised of those who have held senior positions with VeriFone, Hypercom, Lipman USA, ClearCommerce and First Data. WAY Systems is a specialist in wireless transaction processing. The Company also holds exclusive worldwide rights to pocket-sized merchant POS solutions based on granted patents licensed from Fractal Commerce. (CF Library 5/21/96/ 6/1/98)

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ELAN AWARDS

The ICMA announced this year’s winners of its “Elan Awards for Card Manufacturing Excellence” at the ICMA Expo in Athens. The “Best Gift Card” was won by Perfect Plastic Printing for its “Best Buy Snowman Colorshift” card. PPP also won the “Best Secure Card” for its “Discover Fabric Embedded Card.” The “Best Non-Secure Card” winner was UV Color for its Target card with peppermint with scent and raised ink. The “Technical Achievement” winner was Travel Tags for its Target “Teachers Rule Wood Card.” Travel Tags also won the “Judges Choice” award for this card too. The “Best ID Card” award was won by CPI Card Group for the Police Department of Mexico’s “Policia Preventiva” card. The “People’s Choice” award was won by Jet for its Optimum “Chili’s Mother’s Day Gift Card.” NJ-based ICMA is a non-profit association comprised of plastic card manufacturers, personalizers and related industry participants, with more than 200 members globally.

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GCA’s Board of Directors Lands Fred Enlow

Global Cash Access has named Fred Enlow, a retired Group Executive Director for Standard Chartered Bank and its card business and former Vice Chairman and a Director of MBNA America Bank, to its Board of Directors. Mr. Enlow, 66 years old, is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in international banking and credit card activities. In 2000, he retired as Group Executive Director for Standard Chartered Bank PLC in London where he was responsible for their global consumer banking activities, overseeing a consumer portfolio of five million customers, three million credit cards and $25 billion in loan assets. Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc. is a holding company whose principal asset is the stock of Global Cash Access, Inc..

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McDonald’s & Walgreen Sued Over Payment Patents

AZ-based MedCom USA’s Chicago subsidiary, Card Activation Technologies, has filed lawsuits against McDonald’s and Walgreen for infringing on its payment transaction patent. As previously reported (August 1, 2006) MedCom USA, Inc. intends to spin off the payment transaction technology into a separate publicly traded company. Under the current plan, shareholders will receive, as a dividend, a share in the new entity for each share of MedCom USA, Inc. they own on the record date, which will be announced in the near future. MedCom USA, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: EMED) provides innovative healthcare and financial transaction solutions for electronically processing HIPAA compliant transactions within the healthcare industry.

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Western Union 3Q/06 Revenues Up 12%

The new publicly-traded Western Union Company reported that third quarter revenues rose 12% to $1.1 billion, driven by 14% revenue growth in the consumer-to-consumer segment and 4% growth in the consumer-to-business segment. Net income rose 7% to $258 million. In the third quarter, domestic money transfer transactions declined 5% due to softness in demand among Western Union’s Hispanic consumers as a result of the controversy surrounding immigration. However, Western Union-branded transactions from the U.S. to Mexico, which were also impacted by the immigration controversy, increased 4%. The consumer-to-consumer segment achieved transaction growth of 24% and the international business posted transaction growth of 30%. Western Union projects full-year 2006 revenue growth to be in the range of 11% to 12% with operating income growth, excluding the impact of expenses related to its spin-off from First Data, of 4% to 6%. For complete details on Western Union’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Allpoint Surcharge-Free Network Expands in AZ

Cardtronics’ Allpoint surcharge-free ATM network has signed nine Arizona credit unions. Allpoint provides the group of Arizona credit unions more than 400 surcharge-free ATMs across Arizona located at convenient retailers such as Target and Costco. Allpoint, a division of Cardtronics, is America’s Largest Surcharge-Free ATM Network, with 32,000 ATMs in leading national and regional merchant locations across the country. Arizona Federal was established on October 23, 1936 when a small group of City of Phoenix employees pooled their resources to form Phoenix City Employees Federal Credit Union.

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Metavante to Deploy Egenera’s BladeFrame

Metavante has deployed the Egenera “BladeFrame” system within its healthcare payments division to support healthcare account enrollment/opening, account processing and its proprietary benefit debit card application and platform. By transforming 80 percent of physical legacy-server components into software, the Egenera system enables datacenter virtualization, wherein processing, networking and storage resources are pooled and allocated to applications based on immediate business requirements. Metavante Healthcare Payment Solutions is using this unique architecture, referred to by Egenera as a Processing Area Network (PAN), to accommodate demand spikes, implement N+1 high availability, improve performance and simplify management. Egenera is a global leader in delivering enterprise-computing solutions that simplify datacenter operations and infrastructure.

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Travel Tags Intros eyeTwist for Gift Cards

MN-based Travel Tags has launched the eyeTwist Web site to sell small and medium-sized gift card orders. eyeTwist’s offering will meet customer needs through competitively priced products with a quick turn-time. The initial launch of eyeTwist includes four products: gift cards, loyalty cards, postcards and luggage tags in quantities ranging from 250 to 10,000. Travel Tags, with 30 years of plastic printing experience, is headquartered in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

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Teenagers Embrace Self Checkout & Biometrics

A new study shows that 59% of teenagers want little or no staff involvement in their shopping experience and that 66% would like to self-scan their purchases rather than wait in line to pay a checkout assistant. The report released by EDS and the Institute of Grocery Distribution, also found that 48% of teenagers looking for human interaction would like call buttons in aisles so they can call for staff to help them in their product selection. Of those who want little or no staff involvement: 26% want automated shopping carts that direct them to their chosen items with 16% calling for satellite navigation on shopping carts and 22% would like to see information terminals throughout the store. Teenagers still favor paying with credit and debit cards, but many say that in future, they would like to use biometrics — fingerprint (17%) and iris recognition (7%) — to purchase groceries.

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Card Rewards to Fade with Reduced Interchange

A new report suggests that the landscape of the $150 billion card industry could be altered drastically in the next three to five years and end up costing issuing banks and card associations billions. The analysis also found that reward programs account for as much as 44% of interchange costs and such programs drive consumers to payment choices that are the most expensive for merchants. The research by Diamond Management & Technology Consultants says that once transparency comes to credit card pricing models, merchants will use the information to force an unbundling of interchange fee structures, and the interchange structure as we know it will disappear. Diamond says ACH payments will siphon payment volumes away from credit cards and emerging competitors like Pay By Touch, PayPal, and Google Payments will pose a genuine threat to dominant card operations. The report concludes that adjusting business models by unbundling the interchange components and charging directly for value delivered will enable issuing banks to develop new consumer card pricing models.

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MEI Acceptors Integrated into Pay E Mail Kiosks

PA-based MEI announced that the newly-deployed “Pay E Mail Internet” kiosks will utilize MEI Series “2000 Combo Acceptors” to let users pay with cash, credit or debit cards. Pay E Mail kiosks are vandal-resistant, constructed of heavy-duty steel and aluminum, and have a 15-inch flat screen and full-sized keyboard with a trackball mouse. The unit’s slim design severely restricted the available space for internal components, and so an all-in-one credit card reader/bill acceptor was an ideal choice. Pay E Mail, based in Cary, North Carolina, was developed by vending business professionals with 30-plus years of nationwide experience in the pay-phone and ATM vending business. MEI solutions are relied upon for more than 1 billion transactions per week in 90 countries.

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